The 15 most common Chinese cooking methods

(Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by Amiee)

Many foreigners think that stir-frying is the main cooking method in Chinese cuisine. As long as there is a fire, a pot, a shovel, the prepared ingredients, and the seasonings, you can copy Chinese food at home easily. Though cooking is a classic way of Chinese cooking, there are at least hundreds of cooking methods. Basic Chinese cooking methods are described below:

1.Stir-frying(炒)— it is a fundamental cooking method that typically involves sliced, shredded, cubed, or stripped ingredients. To stir-fry, heat oil in a hot pan over high heat, with the amount of oil required dependent on the ingredients used. Variations of stir-frying include raw stir-frying, slippery stir-frying, cooked stir-frying, and dry stir-frying, depending on the ingredients, heat, and oil temperature.


2. Quick-Frying(爆)

Quick-frying emphasizes speed and intensity with a very short cooking time to create crispy, tender, and flavorful dishes. This technique is best for cooking firm and tough ingredients such as pork belly, chicken gizzards, duck gizzards, poultry meat, lean pork, and beef or lamb. Popular quick-frying methods include oil frying, stewed frying, green onion frying, and sauce frying.

3. Slip(熘)

Slip is a fast method of cooking over high heat. This process generally involves first frying or boiling the main ingredients before transferring them to a separate pan with prepared marinade (marinade can also be prepared without oil). The marinated ingredients are then either stirred or topped with more marinade.


Deep-frying is a high-heat cooking method that uses large amounts of oil without any added liquid. There are various types of deep-frying techniques such as clear frying, dry frying, soft frying, crispy frying, breadcrumb frying, paper-wrapped frying, golden frying, oil immersion and oil drenching.

5. Braising(烧)

It is a cooking method in which the main ingredients are heat-treated once or twice, then soup (or water) and seasonings are added, first boiled over high heat, and then cooked slowly over low heat until it is crispy (meat, seafood), soft and tender (fish, tofu) or fresh (vegetables).

Due to the difference in taste, color and amount of soup, it can be divided into braised in soy sauce, braised in white, dry roasted, sauced roasted, green onion roasted, spicy roasted and many other types.

6. Stew(炖)

To stew, first use green onion and ginger to cook in a pot, then pour in soup or water, bring to a boil, then add the main ingredients, first boil on high heat, and then simmer on low heat. The main ingredients of the stew should be soft and rotten, usually salty and delicious.

7.Steaming(蒸)—It is a distinctive culinary method of China. Most of the wheaten food that northern Chinese like to eat is steamed. Chinese people use bamboo or metal steamers to steam food, stacked together, can steam a variety of foods at the same time. This way maintained the food’s nutrition. It is consistent with healthy eating trends.

8.Pan-Frying(煎) —First heat the pan, rinse the bottom with a small amount of oil, then put the ingredients processed flat shape into the pan, and cook them with a small amount of oil.

9.Boiling(煮)— It is a cooking method in which the main ingredients are placed in a large amount of soup or water, firstly boiled in a big fire, then kept boiling in a medium or small fire. Many Chinese foods are made in this way. Just like the famous dumplings I loved, noodles, hot pot, and congee.

10.Stewing(焖) —Stewing is a cooking method that puts the pot on a low heat and covers the pot to stew the vegetables.

The operation process is very similar to burning, but the heating time on low fire is longer, and the firepower is also lower, usually more than half an hour.

11.Candied floss(拔丝)—It is a cooking method in which rock sugar or sugar is boiled in oil or water for a while, then fried ingredient is added and stir-fried, and the sugar can be pulled out when eating. It is used to make beets. Whether beet success depends on the frying of sugar. Sweet potato, potato, Chinese yam, and most fruits can be cooked in this way. Usually if eating this dish, you should prepare a bowl of cold water. Then the cold water cools the temperature of the sugar, making it easier to eat quickly.

12.Salt baked(盐焗)—Ingredients are wrapped in gauze paper, embedded in the hot coarse salt, and using the thermal conductivity of the salt, cook the ingredients. The salted chicken is representative of this way.

13.Smoked(熏)—The food is smoked on a fuel fire such as tea leaves, pine branches, and brown sugar. Ingredients are colored and absorbed a special aroma.

14.  Soy(炝)

A method of making cold dishes that has been processed and knife-handled, fresh raw materials of small animals and plants or blanched and lubricated until they are cut off raw, adding condiments and warm pepper oil to make them tasty.

15 Marinated (腌)

It is a cooking method for cold dishes.

It is to soak the raw materials in seasoning marinade, or smear them with condiments, so that part of the water in the raw materials will be discharged, and the seasoning will penetrate into it. There are many methods of pickling, and the commonly used ones are salt pickling, bad pickling, and drunk pickling.

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